The readings for today continue the inexorable journey of Our Lord to the Passion and pose for each of us a hard question: Who is Jesus Christ?
We can see the warnings in Jeremiah that there are those who will plot against the Lord. And yet He “is like a trusting lamb led to slaughter.”
Which brings us to the Gospel reading for the day, where we hear that the crowds in Jerusalem are divided on who Jesus is: Some see him as a prophet and others as the Christ. The chief priests and Pharisees, disturbed by the impact of Jesus express even greater anxiety that their own guards are so deeply moved. Such is their alarm that they turn on one of their own – the honorable Nicodemus – when he reminds them of the obligations of the law, asking him threateningly, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
The words of Christ challenged his contemporaries of every class, and the reactions of those who hear him in the Gospel are similar to our own. We refuse to listen, we cling to our own desires and assumptions, and we grow angry because our hearts and minds know the truth but we cannot bring ourselves to admit it. Like those in the reading, we will go to our houses, and when we do in that quiet we might ponder the words that so confounded the priests and Pharisees and ask do we truly recognize in that preaching that Christ Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life?
Dr. Matthew E. Bunson is Faculty Chair for CDU. He is also Senior Contributor for EWTN, including work with its TV, radio, print, and publishing divisions, including the National Catholic Register where he holds the title of Senior Editor.